Björn Witte is a Managing Partner and CEO of Blue Horizon. Björn is assessing opportunities and developing the pure-play impact investment strategy of Blue Horizon. He is Blue Horizon's strategic thinker and deal maker with a strong background in transforming the food industries as an entrepreneur in international markets. Björn has a track record in building and developing companies, from analyzing and spotting opportunities to setting priorities and getting things done.
More than 20 years’ experience across various industries. Started in banking on the equity buyside at Baring Asset Management and then at a multi-family office with operational exposure to the healthcare sector. He spent the next 10 years in the retail and FMCG industry in various operational roles focusing on start- and scale-ups, growth, and turnarounds. He was partner and general manager at the hard discounter Tiendas D1 in Colombia and founder of a specialty coffee and bakery business in Peru. He later became the General Manager at Upfield PLC Latin America, the leading plant-based food company owned by KKR. Manuel is on the board of the Juan Diego Florez educational NGO Sinfonia por el Peru. He has studied Business Administration in the USA and has trained as a French chef.
Lea brings two decades of investing, founding and operating experience. She has been on both sides of the table, both sides of the pond and has a passion for scaling tech-enabled, purpose-driven companies. Her interest in health and sustainability has been a lifelong passion: from becoming a nutritionist to launching businesses and funds with sustainability and impact angles. Lea’s career began in investment banking and private equity at Morgan Stanley, where she served as Chief of Staff to the President. Lea has been investing and building ever since, including five years with Northzone, one of the leading VC funds. While there, Lea focused on the fintech, mobile and marketplace sectors, and made investments such as iZettle (sold to Paypal for $2.2bn) and Trustpilot (IPO, "TRST"). In San Francisco, Lea served as a founder, angel investor, board member, and advisor. She was the Co-founder, President & COO of Averon, the world's strongest and easiest mobile identity platform and part of the founding team of Charge, an electric micro-mobility fuelling network. Lea is a founding partner of Ozone X, an investing platform focused on under-represented founders and was until recently a partner at Antler, a global early-stage tech accelerator. She also advises select funds. A Kauffman Fellow, Lea holds a Harvard MBA and an MSc in Business Administration from Stockholm School of Economics and HEC in Paris. She has served on a variety of corporate boards as well as on the Board of SVCA (the Swedish Venture Capital and Private Equity Association). Lea is mother to a vivacious daughter, a former fitness instructor, and a performance-hacking hobbyist. She lives by the adage that only “together, we rise.”
Przemek Obloj is responsible for Blue Horizon’s investment activities. He brings more than 15 years of investing experience from leading global organisations including CVC Capital Partners and EQT Partners. Prior to joining Blue Horizon, Przemek was the Managing Director and Head of European Private Equity at PSP Investments, a C$200 billion Canadian pension investment manager. He started his career at McKinsey & Company and holds an MSc in Finance from Warsaw School of Economics and an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau and Singapore.
Roger Lienhard is the Founder of Blue Horizon. Roger’s journey to investing in sustainable social entrepreneurship and development projects related to plant-/cell-based food and related topics around the globe started after a successful career building and selling several advertising, media and online marketing companies. He is a vegan pioneer in the financial community and has a deeply rooted mission: to take animals out of the food chain and support companies to create a brighter, more sustainable future. To accelerate his mission, he founded the Blue Horizon International Foundation.
Sedef Koktenturk is a Managing Partner and the Impact Partner in the Blue Horizon investment teams, leading on firmwide impact management and ESG integration. Sedef has 20 years of capital markets experience from leading global investment firms including Generation Investment Management and Goldman Sachs. She started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in financial advisory and holds an MBA from the Columbia Business School in New York. Sedef is also an Olympian; she represented Turkey in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in windsurfing.
Thomas is our start-up and transaction specialist. He has over 15 years of hands-on experience in building agriculture, food processing and other start-up ventures. He holds a PhD in Law from the University of Bern, Switzerland and a Master’s Degree in International Corporate Law from Georgetown University in Washington DC, USA.
Armin is responsible for Blue Horizon’s Operations, Accounting, Controlling and Risk Management and supports the financial and governance functions. Prior to joining Blue Horizon, he was Senior Audit Manager at Swiss Life and led Internal Audit mandates in the area of Asset Management. He started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and holds a BSc in Finance & Accounting, graduated as Swiss Certified Public Accountant and is a Certified Swiss Fund and Asset Management Officer.
Chris is our digital media & innovation guru. He has decades of expertise in leading digital business projects and teams and a strong background in project management and product/service development. He is well versed in implementing online strategies (e.g. HNI platform for Art Basel), aggregating traffic and motivating as well as inspiring teams to embrace the digital mindset in order to transform products and services into revenue and assets.
Derek has been part of our Venture Capital team in Zurich since 2019, and has over 7 years of experience. Prior to Blue Horizon, he worked with growth, M&A and finance at a Private Equity-backed scale-up. He is enthusiastic about the start-up ecosystem: he co-founded an angel investment group, and advises accelerators. He holds an MBA from INSEAD (Fontainebleau and Singapore) and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from PUC (Rio de Janeiro).
Flor is our Senior Fund Controller. She has over 15 years of experience running fund operations and finance teams. Prior joining Blue Horizon, she was deputy CFO at Be Green Trading, a risk management service provider in the coffee industry. Flor held positions at Signet and Credit Suisse ILS, where she was in charge of hedge funds and fund of funds operations. She holds a BBA and an MA in Management from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.
Friederike is the scientific Director on the Blue Horizon Growth team. She brings experience in biotechnology and strategy consulting: Friederike holds a PhD in Plant Biotechnology from the University of Oxford. With that, she joined the Boston Consulting Group, working across biopharma, biotech, energy and private equity for 3.5 years. Friederike maintains a strong network in the scientific community, and is excited about safeguarding humanity’s long-term future. To this end, she co-authored work that informed the research agenda of Oxford's Global Priorities Institute, and is an active member of the effective altruism community.
Gabriel is responsible for the group’s governance and regulatory framework. He is a senior legal and compliance professional with long-standing experience in the asset management industry. Prior to joining Blue Horizon, he held positions at Credit Suisse, Swiss Re and GAM, where he was the group’s corporate counsel and group company secretary. Gabriel holds a bachelor and master’s degree in law from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.
Lara is an Analyst on the Blue Horizon Investment team, assisting the team on the execution of investments. She also monitors the Seed and Ventures portfolio and is part of the Impact team. Lara has previous experience in the production of novel biodegradable plastic alternatives (i.e. biopolymers) from bacterial fermentation and has previously worked at the Luxembourg Institute of Health. She holds a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Sciences with first class honors from University of Westminster and has received a Masters of Science in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering from University College London.
Linda joined Blue Horizon as a financial accountant for all Swiss legal entities. This will allow Blue Horizon to insource its financial and payroll accounting from external service providers. Linda will also focus on further improving and simplifying existing processes. Prior to joining Blue Horizon she worked as a finance manager for Swarovski’s e-commerce platform as well as a senior accountant for various globally operating, publicly listed companies (ABB, Siemens, Holcim). Linda is holder of the Swiss federal diploma for Finance and accounting professionals.
Lindsay is Business Manager at Blue Horizon based in Zurich. She focuses on office-related operations and supports the Executive Team on various projects, event planning and client service support. She has 20 years of international business experience in sales, business development, project and office management across lifestyle consumer goods and international sports industries. As a passionate world traveler, health & wellness enthusiast, and recent vegan, she is thrilled to be part of an organization invested in elevating sustainable alternatives and transforming the global food ecosystem.
Matteo is Director Growth at Blue Horizon in Zurich. He has a 7 year background in Investment Banking at Rothschild & Co in both Europe and the US. Before joining Blue Horizon, Matteo was a Vice President of M&A in New York where he focused on transactions in the Food & Beverage industry. He is passionate about working with entrepreneurs and impact driven companies to improve the way we eat. Matteo holds an MBA from INSEAD (Fontainebleau and Singapore) and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of St. Gallen (HSG).
Nate is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Blue Horizon, where he works on investment portfolio development, industry analysis, partnership development, and strategic initiatives. Nate is a subject matter expert in alternative proteins, previously working as the Startup Growth Specialist at the Good Food Institute – the leading NGO in the sector – where he drafted the three flagship state of the industry reports on plant-based, cell-based, and fermentation-enabled meat, eggs, and dairy. He is a frequent public speaker, writer of 15+ published articles, author of the eco-biotechnology newsletter, Fifth Industrial. Nate previously worked at a university-affiliated biotechnology incubator, apprenticed with a venture capital firm, and earned a B.A. (Economics) and J.D. (Commercial Law) from the University of Kansas.
Olivia is a Director Impact & Client Solutions in the Blue Horizon team and focuses on ESG integration. She has over 9 years of finance and entrepreneurial experience and co-founded Olive+Squash, a sustainable farm to table, fast casual restaurant concept in the United Kingdom. Prior to this, she worked at Blackstone Alternative Asset Management, in investor relations for the hedge fund solutions group. She started her career in the financial institutions group of the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs International in London. Olivia received a BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Science from Imperial Business School in Climate Change, Management and Finance.
Robert is responsible for growing our (pre-)seed portfolio and several strategic initiatives. He has over 15 years of experience managing programs in large financial services firms across Europe either as management consultant (KPMG) or project manager (ABN Amro Asset Management). Most recently he built and ran UBS's Global Visionaries program identifying and supporting impact-driven entrepreneurs at the forefront of tackling some of the world's most challenging social and environmental problems. At UBS, Robert was also leading the plant-based movement moderating Future of Food panels at UHNW and GFO events, integrating the topic in CIO research and facilitating access to plant-based investment opportunities. He holds two Master degrees (MSc) in business and consulting from the Rotterdam School of Management.
Sofie Batalov is a Director at our headquarter in Zurich. Sofie’s background sits within management consulting and venture capital. She started her career as a management consultant where she was part of a DACH agribusiness team and spent most of her time in the crop inputs industry based out of the United States, Germany and the Netherlands. She most recently spent some time in her native Sweden, working at a leading early-stage venture fund, J12 where she was an Investor in the investment team. During that time she led investments within personalized nutrition and foodwaste. In addition, she was responsible for J12s Angel network. Sofie holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance from University of Westminster where she graduated with a first class honors. Sofie is a Crossfit hobbyist, spending weekends in the nearest Crossfit box or outdoors hiking and skiing during wintertime. During her childhood and teenage years, she was a Swedish national champion in showjumping. For Sofie, to travel and experience new cultures and people is the key to continuous learning and for always staying curious. She has a strong belief that the business of business is people.
Snezana (Susie) Howe has joined Blue Horizon as Business Support to the Executive Team and to manage day to day operational projects. She has 15 years of capital markets experience including JPMorgan, Piper Jaffray and most recently Generation Investment Management where she was a member of the Research Strategy Team. As a lifelong vegetarian and recent vegan, she is super excited to be working with an organisation that is dedicated to creating a more sustainable future.
Tanmay is Principal in our team in Zurich. He previously worked at Santander InnoVentures, Santander Bank’s venture capital fund, where he worked on early stage investments in the fintech space. He began his career at Cambridge Associates advising institutional investors on venture capital and growth equity investments. Tanmay holds an MBA from London Business School and BA in Economics (magna cum laude) from Carleton College (USA).
Tommaso is an Associate in the Blue Horizon Growth team in Zurich. He has a 5-year background in private equity and investment banking. Before joining Blue Horizon, he was a Private Equity Associate at Space Holding in Milan where he focused on mid-market generalist investments and SPACs. He started his career in corporate and investment banking at Intesa San Paolo’s office in Paris, France. He also co-founded an angel syndicate that invested in several early-stage companies across Europe. Tommaso holds a BSc in International Economics and Finance from Bocconi University.